Stalls

Alin10123

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Hey guys,
I'm a student pilot here working on my PPL. I've got a little over 8 hours in time built up. I dont have too much trouble with pretty much most of my maneuvers. However, today we did stalls. Now... i'm fairly comfortable in the airplane. Today was even a windy/turbulent day up there. I stayed pretty calm during most of that. The part that got to me was the stalls.
One thing that i hate, is the feeling you get in your chest when you dive straight down like you're on a roller coaster. Anybody experience that feeling that i'm talking about? As my instructor was showing me a stall i found myself wanting to scream out and looking for an "oh sh*t" handle as if i was on a roller coaster.
It's not stick to my stomache. But sort of like when someone in the passenger seat of your car is reaching for the "OH SH*T" handle. Sort of like your heart is about to jump out of your chest. Man... i HATE that feeling. I sort of wish i dont have that feeling. That way i could do stalls all day.

Anyways... how did you guys all do on your first stalls? Did any experience anything similar to this? What did you guys do to overcome the feeling? Or to ease you up into it?
 

Mr. Cole

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I was as anxious as the next student before I did stalls. It was the one lesson I dreaded, but knew eventually I would have to face. When that day arrived and my instructor demonstrated them, I realized that they weren't that bad. In fact I enjoyed them. During that first stall session I was doing power off and power on stalls with ease. However, the next time we went up to perform stalls it was fairly bumpy and during a power on stall the left wing dropped. I automatically used right rudder to pick up the wing, but just knew that we were about to spin. My instructor told me that we weren't even close, but I realized that it wasn't the stall that I should fear, but the spin itself. After that point I could still perform stalls, but I didn't enjoy them as much as I had after that first lesson.

The best money I've ever spent is doing aerobatic and emergency maneuver training with Rich Stowell. In fact I flew with him for the third time in as many years just last week, and picked up the spin endorsement along the way. After I flew with him last year I went on to take regular aerobatic lessons and have done every basic maneuver, as well as inverted spins and snap rolls. In fact most of my time with Rich this year was flying my maneuvers more towards competition standards. And I've already found a new aerobatics instructor in the D.C. area where I recently relocated.

But even now, with only about 12 hours of aerobatics, I still prefer to just spin the plane than simply stalling. Maybe it's because I know the outcome of the spin. The stall is a step on the way to a spin and as a more seasoned pilot explained it to me, you never know exactly how the stall will break, so the uncertainty causes us to be more anxious. Your feelings of being on a roller coaster are most likely due to anxiety. Properly executed a power off stall recovery should simply cause the nose to drop slightly below the horizon. If you slow the plane down close to its climb speed when doing a power on stall, your nose up attitude shouldn't be too high and the break shouldn't be as dramatic.

I found power on stalls easier, as you don't need to worry about flaps, just release the back pressure. BTW, if you're recovering too aggressively chances are you're probably experiencing slight negative G, which may be aggravating the sensations you're feeling.

Dave

Alin10123 said:
Hey guys,
I'm a student pilot here working on my PPL. I've got a little over 8 hours in time built up. I dont have too much trouble with pretty much most of my maneuvers. However, today we did stalls. Now... i'm fairly comfortable in the airplane. Today was even a windy/turbulent day up there. I stayed pretty calm during most of that. The part that got to me was the stalls.
One thing that i hate, is the feeling you get in your chest when you dive straight down like you're on a roller coaster. Anybody experience that feeling that i'm talking about? As my instructor was showing me a stall i found myself wanting to scream out and looking for an "oh sh*t" handle as if i was on a roller coaster.
It's not stick to my stomache. But sort of like when someone in the passenger seat of your car is reaching for the "OH SH*T" handle. Sort of like your heart is about to jump out of your chest. Man... i HATE that feeling. I sort of wish i dont have that feeling. That way i could do stalls all day.

Anyways... how did you guys all do on your first stalls? Did any experience anything similar to this? What did you guys do to overcome the feeling? Or to ease you up into it?
 

midlifeflyer

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Alin10123 said:
The part that got to me was the stalls.
One thing that i hate, is the feeling you get in your chest when you dive straight down like you're on a roller coaster. Anybody experience that feeling that i'm talking about? As my instructor was showing me a stall i found myself wanting to scream out and looking for an "oh sh*t" handle as if i was on a roller coaster.
I don't know what happened, but if your CFI indeed dove for the ground like a roller coaster while teaching you stalls, get another instructor.

I don't know what you're flying, but none of the light airplanes I've flown so far has required more than nose-level to recover from a stall.

I know that there are CFIs who do extreme maneuvers in stalls. I did a FR for a CFI a few years ago who did them and he scared the crap out of me. Nose WAY up to induce the stall and WAY down to recover. Spins are less nerve-wracking! I asked him what the [EXPLETIVE DELETED] he thought he was doing and that I hoped he didn't do that to his students. If he did that to me as a student I probably would have quit flying (no Internet to bounce these things off other pilots and students).
 

nosehair

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Alin10123 said:
One thing that i hate, is the feeling you get in your chest when you dive straight down like you're on a roller coaster. Anybody experience that feeling that i'm talking about? Sort of like your heart is about to jump out of your chest. Man... i HATE that feeling. I sort of wish i dont have that feeling. That way i could do stalls all day.
Aww, Man! You don't like that feeling? That's what I live for. Roller Coaster Dives...Nah, I'm kiddin'. Like the others have said, you shouldn't have to diiiive the airplane to recover from a stall. And the nose shouldn't have to be extremely high.
However, in most trainers with relatively small engines, there will be some altitude loss, maybe 50 feet or so (anywhere from 0 to 100 depending on weight, density altitude, and pilot skill), but it shouldn't be in a diiive, it should be in a kind of sinking sensation as the nose goes slightly below the horizon.
Some people can experience this sinking sensation, which should be more like an elevator, as being very uncomfortable, so you should eeeaase into it.
Start with half-power stalls, about 2000 RPM and eeeease the nose up to about 20 degrees on the attitude indicator. Note the visual attitude of the nose and hold that. Use the attitude indicator to help keep a constant attitude. Don't keep increasing the attitude, and don't let the nose drop down either, until it stalls, then relax pressure enough to let the nose drop about 5 to 10 degrees below the horizon momentarily until speed accelerates to normal rotation speed. Don't add power, just focus on the feeling of the controls, and your "falling feeling". When speed accelerates to normal take-off rotation speed, then pull the nose back up to stall attitude again. Do this over and over until you are comfortable with the "falling feeling".
While you are doing this, you should be more focused on the main objective, which is to have absolute control of the pitch, bank, and yaw. Flying the airplane ( which means controlling the airplane) right into and out of the stall. Keeping an absolutely constant heading and wings level and constant nose up pitch followed by a positive, in-control nose down pitch, while never letting the heading or bank get away, is what you are training to do.
Focus on those objectives and your mind won't have time to "fear the fall". Fly the airplane.
 

NYCPilot

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Everyone is usually a little apprehensive the first time they do stalls. It's natural to feel what you're feeling, after all you're only human. Once you've done a bunch of stalls you'll become desensitized to that feeling in your stomach. Don't let that feeling keep you scared. It's important to recognize the dangers of a stall and how to prevent them.
Your instructor is demonstrating to you when and where a stall might occur, how to recognize an impending and complete stall, and how to effectively recover from one.


Although stalls may seem a bit scary at first, this fear will subside. Not sure if you ony did power-off stalls, but power-on stalls may seem even worse due to the higher litch angle.

If the nose dropped or appeared to drop steeeply, it is probably becasue you did a full stall. Maybe your instructor should show you the varying degrees of stalls. You can stall and recover with very little pitch change or you can stall with a steep drop. As with power on/off, the higher the pitch-up during the stall, the farther the pitch-down. usually about the same degree, just in the opposite direction. If you hold the controls back for too long before decreasing the angle of attack to recover, you will be deeper in the stall and the nose will try to drop further down in order to recover the airspeed.

Stalls are usually very safe when performed at altitude. The feelings you're experiencing are from a sense of fear and loss of aircraft control. In order overcome any fear you might have, you need to feel confident and sure about the manuever.

What I do with students is show them different recovery techniques. One way is to recover without the use of power. You'll see that the plane will start flying again when you trade altitude for airspeed. Antoher method is to do this by stalling and unstalling, stalling and unstalling all the way down.

With power-on stalls, once the nose begins to drop I let go of the controls to show that you really dont have to push forward, but rather just RELEASE the back pressure. As soon as I let go the plane is flying again. It doesnt really takemuch of apitch change to break the stall. Remember, in a power-on stall you have full power which creates an airflow over the wing which helps generate lift. The full power setting also helps build up your airspeed much quicker too. These factors help break the stall and get the plane flying again quicker than a power-off stall.


Best thing to do is practice stalls over and over. Your instructor is there to make sure you don't get yourself into trouble so you should feel free to experiment as you practice them.

One other tip.

ALWAYS keep the ailerons neutral and maintain directional control with the rudder.
 

BLing

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My first CFI did REALLY REALLY REALLY AGRESSIVE Stalls! I thought it was the coolest thing ever! So when I went for my checkride, I gave the examiner the version of a power on stall that I was taught. Of course this freaked him out. I still passed though! It depends upon how easily you scare. I am personally only afraid of snakes and spiders!
 

Alin10123

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BLing said:
My first CFI did REALLY REALLY REALLY AGRESSIVE Stalls! I thought it was the coolest thing ever! So when I went for my checkride, I gave the examiner the version of a power on stall that I was taught. Of course this freaked him out. I still passed though! It depends upon how easily you scare. I am personally only afraid of snakes and spiders!
lol, the snakes and spiders dont scare me much at all. But uh... the aggressive stalls do.

Maybe i will go up there and I will be the one to do the stall. I will simply pitch the nose up a little bit and idle out the engine. That should be enough to stall it right? That way the nose wont dive down as much when i recover. Then i will go more and more each time.

Sound like a plan?
 

Fly_Chick

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Alin, you should be the one doing the stalls. Not watching the instructor stall. The best way to learn is to perform, not watch. I usually walk the student through all the maneuvers, with stalls at times I may have to help with the back pressure, yet this is only minimal on my part.

When the airplane stalls, put the nose on the horizon or just slightly below to initiate the recovery. There is no need for a dive. Remember, stalls in Private are done to simulate stalling during take-off and landing, and the last thing you want to do is be in a nose dive close to the ground. You want the nose on the horizon or slightly below so you can gain airspeed, then climb to a sufficient altitude (assuming go-around on the power-off or continued climb on the the power-on).

Another point, whenever you hear the stall warning horn on take-off or approach to landing (not including the final portion in the flare just before touch-down) always lower the nose. Do not dive the nose, just lower the nose.

A suggestion that often works with my students when they are looking out the front of the plane and feel we are in an excessive attitude and we are not - I have them look out the side of the plane, at the wings, and how they are situated on the horizon. Once they see we are in such a small angle, a lot of fear disappears.

One other thing to try - are there other students at your flight school that are already private pilots? Perhaps instrument rated, commercial rated or those building hours? If so, perhaps they may be willing to take you up on one of their hour building rides and demonstrate how they do stalls for you.
 

midlifeflyer

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Alin10123 said:
Maybe i will go up there and I will be the one to do the stall. I will simply pitch the nose up a little bit and idle out the engine. That should be enough to stall it right?
Yup. Let's not forget something basic. The basic stalls are there to simulate events that may really occur, not to show how well we can do aerobatics. The purpose is to recognize a potentially unsafe condition and be able to correct them in both the incipient and actual stages.

The "power off" stall is more formally referred to as an "approach to landing" stall. I teach it as the "you're landing the airplane but you're a bad pilot" stall. Low power, low airspeed, and an attempt to level off with pitch alone.

At least I don't =think= I've read of a real stall on short final that was caused by the pilot pointing the airplane's nose to the sky and then slamming it forward to the ground.
 

GoingHot

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midlifeflyer said:
I don't know what happened, but if your CFI indeed dove for the ground like a roller coaster while teaching you stalls, get another instructor.

I don't know what you're flying, but none of the light airplanes I've flown so far has required more than nose-level to recover from a stall.
Good advice. Get another instructor. This guy is showing off at your expense.
 

Alin10123

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GoingHot said:
Good advice. Get another instructor. This guy is showing off at your expense.
lol, Actually he didn't first offer to do it himself. He saw how nervous i was and i wasn't even able to quite remember the instructions he was giving me. That's why he was like "you want me to show you one first?".

He's actually fairly good at explaining things for the most part. This is the first time he's actually tried to demonstrate something. Everything else for the most part i've done it on my own.
 

Sam Snead

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The higher you pitch up, the more aggresive the nose-down moment on a full stall will be.

Power on attitude 10-12 deg to start. Power off 5 degrees.

Stall, reduce angle of attack, MINIMIZE altitude loss.

It's OK to pitch the nose up really high to learn and have fun. But try the above when you get down to biz.
 

Alin10123

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Did the power off stalls with no problem. I think it was more in my head than it was actually scary. I did power on stalls this week too. I actually like the power on stalls better. Just release pressure and full power. That's it. The fear and anxiety was 100% in my head. But after doing these i found myself more confident with flying the aircraft and looking out the window more instead of wanting to stare at the instruments. I also got better at steep turns.
 

Flystr8

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Alin10123 said:
Hey guys,
I'm a student pilot here working on my PPL. I've got a little over 8 hours in time built up. I dont have too much trouble with pretty much most of my maneuvers. However, today we did stalls. Now... i'm fairly comfortable in the airplane. Today was even a windy/turbulent day up there. I stayed pretty calm during most of that. The part that got to me was the stalls.
One thing that i hate, is the feeling you get in your chest when you dive straight down like you're on a roller coaster. Anybody experience that feeling that i'm talking about? As my instructor was showing me a stall i found myself wanting to scream out and looking for an "oh sh*t" handle as if i was on a roller coaster.
It's not stick to my stomache. But sort of like when someone in the passenger seat of your car is reaching for the "OH SH*T" handle. Sort of like your heart is about to jump out of your chest. Man... i HATE that feeling. I sort of wish i dont have that feeling. That way i could do stalls all day.

Anyways... how did you guys all do on your first stalls? Did any experience anything similar to this? What did you guys do to overcome the feeling? Or to ease you up into it?
If you find yourself "diving stright down toward the earth" while doing stalls, your instructor is not teaching them properly. Come see me. Stalls should not be something that makes you queezy in the stomach or looking to cling to the aircraft. The should not be violent maneuvers either. Do not be afraid of the stall now or you will never be comfortable with them. If you feel totally comfortable in the aircraft but not while doing stalls, your insructor is doing you a huge injustice. I did a BFR with a student recently who was really uncomfortable when we got around to the part of doing stalls. He asked me "if we had to do them." By the time the BFR was over, he was asking me "if we could do a couple more." I had brought him to the point where he was supposed to be and felt good about doing it for him. I made him a better pilot who was more comfortable with a maneuver that is too often feared. Use a different instructor if the one you have makes you feel scared during these maneuvers. Thats the best advise I can give to you. Good luck with the rest of your rating. Be safe, and have a blast with it. I promise you will.
 

kaj837

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Hey you people, before you start bad-mouthing, condemning his instructor remember you are reading information from an 8 hour Student Pilot. Let's cut the CFI some slack here until there is some more information.
 

Alin10123

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Flystr8 said:
If you find yourself "diving stright down toward the earth" while doing stalls, your instructor is not teaching them properly. Come see me. Stalls should not be something that makes you queezy in the stomach or looking to cling to the aircraft. The should not be violent maneuvers either. Do not be afraid of the stall now or you will never be comfortable with them. If you feel totally comfortable in the aircraft but not while doing stalls, your insructor is doing you a huge injustice. I did a BFR with a student recently who was really uncomfortable when we got around to the part of doing stalls. He asked me "if we had to do them." By the time the BFR was over, he was asking me "if we could do a couple more." I had brought him to the point where he was supposed to be and felt good about doing it for him. I made him a better pilot who was more comfortable with a maneuver that is too often feared. Use a different instructor if the one you have makes you feel scared during these maneuvers. Thats the best advise I can give to you. Good luck with the rest of your rating. Be safe, and have a blast with it. I promise you will.
kaj837 said:
Hey you people, before you start bad-mouthing, condemning his instructor remember you are reading information from an 8 hour Student Pilot. Let's cut the CFI some slack here until there is some more information.
lol,
Did you two not read my post on the update that i posted today? It said that i did my power off stalls no problem, and i did my power on stalls this week. I had fun doing them in the end. The anxiety and wanting to cling to the aircraft was 100% in my head. Not the instructors fault. I actually did my first solo today too! whoohoo! I've got about 22 hours now.

thanks for everyone's suggestions. What we did was take it slow just like everyone recommended. One to practice what to do to recover but not actually stalling. One time until right before it breaks. Then the final time was doing the actual stall. Then the 4th time was concentrating on controlling the full stall and let it break a little longer while under control before recovery, just to get an idea of spin awareness.

Like i said above, after doing the stalls, i've got 100% more confidence in the handling of the aircraft.
 

WMUchickenhawk

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My first stall, I reached forward and yanked back on the yoke when the plane nosed over. I nearly spun it. Since then I've begun to enjoy them. Just wait till you do a cross-control stall. Thats a wierd feeling. Anyways, don't worry about the feeling. You'll do enough that it will go away.
 

Alin10123

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WMUchickenhawk said:
My first stall, I reached forward and yanked back on the yoke when the plane nosed over. I nearly spun it. Since then I've begun to enjoy them. Just wait till you do a cross-control stall. Thats a wierd feeling. Anyways, don't worry about the feeling. You'll do enough that it will go away.
Eeer... isn't that what you're not supposed to do? When it stalls and you yank it back after the stall actually breaks, wont that put the aircraft into a secondary stall?
 

WMUchickenhawk

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Alin10123 said:
Eeer... isn't that what you're not supposed to do? When it stalls and you yank it back after the stall actually breaks, wont that put the aircraft into a secondary stall?
yup, but I wasnt ready for it. I had no idea it could be so abrupt. So instinct took over, and I pulled back.
 
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